Pioneer Place AEW Architects
The plans include a cinema and 12,750 sq ft of retail and leisure space across five units

Maple Grove scales back £21m Pioneer Place  

Sarah Townsend

The developer, part of Preston-based Eric Wright Group, has lodged revised plans for the mixed-use scheme in Burnley town centre due to market changes over the past year.

Maple Grove Developments’ application for the £21m Pioneer Place was approved by Burnley Council last January, with the scheme to be anchored by an eight-screen Reel Cinema that would relocate from its existing site on Burnley’s Manchester Road.

The scheme was also to include 30,000 sq ft of restaurants, bars, shops, a public plaza and a 125-space car park, at the development site off Curzon Street.

According to the new planning application, Maple Grove now wants to build a seven-screen cinema alongside significantly reduced leisure and retail floorspace totalling 12,750 sq ft across five units. This would be centred around new public realm.

It is understood the scheme has been revised in light of market changes brought about by the pandemic.

The project, which would occupy the former Pioneer Co-op site on Curzon Street, is being delivered in a public-private partnership with Burnley Council. It is expected to generate £1.35m in gross value add to the local economy, by providing a fresh day- and night-time leisure destination for the town and a quality food and beverage offer, according to Maple Grove.

AEW Architects has designed the scheme and Smith Love is the planning consultant. Burnley Council is funding the development with a £3.2m grant from Lancashire County Council. A contractor has yet to be appointed.

Nik Puttnam, senior development manager at Maple Grove Developments, said: “Over the past year, working in partnership with Burnley Council, we have reviewed the development mix to ensure the scheme kickstarts the regeneration of the town centre post-Covid and to secure public monies to support delivery of the scheme from Lancashire County Council and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership.

“It has been a challenging 12 months for the project, but working in partnership with Burnley Council, it is really exciting that we now have a fundable and deliverable scheme.”

Subject to securing planning consent in early spring, the developer aims to start works on site in late summer, and open the scheme in spring 2023, Puttnam said.

“This is another step forward in helping to secure Burnley’s future as a thriving centre with an attractive shopping offer during the day, and a vibrant night-time economy,” added Burnley Council leader Councillor Mark Townsend said:

“It’s about planning for a better future and part of wider work to prepare the way for business recovery post Covid-19.

“Having a multiscreen cinema in the town centre, along with new restaurants, will help draw in more visitors which will give a wider boost to other nearby shops and businesses. It fits in well with our ambitions to see Burnley become a university town with the expansion of UCLan and Burnley College.”

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